Rhodiola For Weight Loss
It is originally found as a herb at high altitudes in cold climate areas of Asia and Northern Europe. The substance has been used for many years across the world in order to benefit energy, mood and mental performance and is believed to offer support to levels of cognition. Rhodiola belongs to a class of plant substances that are known as adaptogens. Adaptogens are phytochemicals that are thought to have the ability to increase the body’s capability to adapt to stress and distressing situations.
What are the believed weight loss effects of rhodiola?
In this section we will look in detail at the weight loss claims that are often made about rhodiola. It is important to note, however, that there is limited scientific evidence to back up these claims.
Rhodiola is thought to be able to boost the body’s energy levels and fight against tiredness due to its ability to raise the amount of muscle glycogen during exercise. Glycogen is a primary source of energy for certain types of exercise, for example anaerobic exercise such as strength training. In boosting the level of glycogen, users should in effect have more energy to complete their training – allowing them to work out for longer periods of time and potentially burn more calories leading to weight loss.
Rhodiola is also believed to be capable of increasing the production rate of an enzyme known as adenosine triphosphate or ATP. This molecule is often depicted as an engine for energy, and stores the energy that our bodies require to function in the cytoplasm of cells. When more energy is needed, these stores are released before being restored by the oxygen and nutrients that we consume. Again, thanks to this extra energy, users of rhodiola may be able to burn a larger amount of calories, improving energy expenditure and the effectiveness of a single work out.
It may also be that rhodiola can increase oxygen levels in the body by increasing the amount of oxygen that our red blood cells can carry. In turn this increases the energy, vitality and stamina of the body during exercise, meaning that you can work harder and burn more fat.
The substance can also significantly reduce the build up of lactic acid, which is the root of muscle cramping, pain and discomfort. Without this uncomfortable side effect of exercise, users of rhodiola could potentially work out more and burn more calories before they experience cramps.
The substance also has the potential to reduce stomach fat as it is able to activate a certain enzyme known as hormone- sensitive lipase that allows the body to access and use the fat stored in abdominal cells for energy. This means that when exercising, rhodiola may be able to increase the rate in which the body burns fat from the stomach, resulting in weight loss.
Other health benefits of rhodiola
The natural substance is also believed to hold other health benefits that affect the body in various ways in order to promote general wellbeing.
Firstly, rhodiola is believed to work well at reducing stress levels in humans. This is due to the phytochemicals that the substance contains and their ability to increase the body’s capability of adapting to stress and distressing situations.
The natural substance also contains a range of antioxidants that work together to improve your health. Antioxidants are molecules that are able to prevent damage in the body such as that from free radicals and in preventing this damage they are able to keep the body healthy. Antioxidants are also able to support the immune system, reducing the risk of illness. Furthermore rhodiola is believed to be able to regulate blood pressure and promote cardio vascular health thanks to the antioxidants that it contains.
Side effects of rhodiola
Rhodiola is a natural substance that is generally considered to be both safe and non addictive. In saying this, all substances have the potential to bring about some uncomfortable side effects in some users, as everyone reacts differently to various substances. There have been some reports of non serious side effects from taking rhodiola, and these effects include anxiety, agitation, nausea, hypersalivation, restlessness and insomnia. Due to the fact that rhodiola works as a naturally mild stimulant, there is the possibility that users will experience some of these side effects if they take large amounts of the substance. Other side effects such as jitteriness or heart palpitations may occur in some users who consume extremely large amounts of the substance, and so it is advisable that you only ingest relatively low amounts. In order to ensure that your sleep is not disrupted while taking rhodiola, it may prove beneficial to take the substance in the mornings and early afternoons, as the closer you ingest the substance to sleeping, the more likely it is that rhodiola will interfere with your sleep or that you will suffer from insomnia. Another way to reduce the risk of side effects is to ensure that you keep to the recommended dose and do not ingest more than 600mg of the substance each day. However it is worth remembering that everyone will react differently to the substance and have different levels of sensitivity.
Although rhodiola is believed to be a herb which is low in toxicity, it can still put users’ health at risk if taken in excessive amounts.
Clinical studies on rhodiola
Clinical studies are carried out on substances in order to ensure both their safety and effectiveness. There have been a number of trials conducted on rhodiola, investigating its ability to improve various aspects of health – one of these aspects being its effect on weight loss. Here we will look in detail at some of these studies in order to establish the general results of the substance.
One study was conducted in order to examine how well citrus aurantium and rhodiola work together to reduce the amount of visceral white adipose tissue and weight in the body. The scientists performing the experiment hoped to prove that the two substances are able to improve diet induced obesity alterations in male rats and fed the subjects high fat diets for 13 weeks. Along with these high fat diets, certain groups of rats were given either citrus auranthium, rhodiola or vehicle. Although the high fat diet in take and weight loss were not influenced, there was a 30% decrease in visceral fat weight compared with the other treatments.
Clinical studies have also been carried out on rhodiola to determine its effect on cognition and the reduction of stress. One study, performed in 2003, used randomised, double blind, placebo controlled, parallel group conditions with an extra group of people who did not receive any treatment. The study was used to measure the effect of a single dose of standardised SHR- 5 rhodiola extract on capacity for mental work against a background of both fatigue and stress in 161 cadets aged 19 to 21 years of age. Initially, all groups had very similar data but the study showed a pronounced anti fatigue effect in the subjects, suggesting that rhodiola may have the potential to reduce stress and give the body a boost in energy. The general trend from clinical studies that have tested the fatigue reducing effect of rhodiola appears to be a relatively strong decrease when a low dose is given to people over a prolonged period of time or when a high dose is given in an acute manner.
Another study was conducted to investigate the effects and the safety of a 4 week treatment with rhodiola in subjects with symptoms of life stress. The study was a multicentre, non- randomized, open label, single arm trial that used 101 subjects who were given 200mg of rhodiola twice each day for 4 weeks. The assessments of the study were carried out using seven questionnaires, which participants filled in themselves. All tests showed that there were clinically relevant improvements with regard to symptoms of stress and overall therapeutic effect. Furthermore, rhodiola appeared to be safe to use and was generally well tolerated by all participants of the study.
A further trial dating from 2000 investigated the stimulating and adaptogenic effect of rhodiola extract on the fatigue of students caused by stress during an examination period. The study was performed as a double blind, randomised and placebo controlled with a low repeated dose regime, where the student subjects were given either a placebo or rhodiola extract for 20 days during their examination period. Both the physical and mental performance of the students were assessed before and after the period as well as subjective evaluation. Physical fitness, mental fatigue and neuro- motoric tests saw the most significant improvements in the rhodiola extract group, and the self assessed general well being test was also significantly better in the rhodiola group compared to that of the placebo group. Overall, the scientists conducting the study concluded that rhodiola extract generally gave significantly better results than the placebo group.
What do the customer reviews say?
There are many customer reviews available on the internet in regards to the effect of rhodiola in humans. The general consensus from these reviews appears to be that the substance is able to decrease levels of fatigue and provide the body with an extra boost in energy, making it easier for users to engage in daily activities and increasing the effectiveness of exercise. The reviews also suggest that there is a lift in mood in users, which may also lead to a better effect in exercise.
Despite the positive claims regarding energy and mood, there are reports of some side effects in these reviews. These side effects include rashes on the face and arms, a rise in heart rate and heartburn, as well as some users complaining that they actually felt more tired after taking rhodiola.
Products containing rhodiola
Due to the impressive claims that have been made about rhodiola as a health improving substance, it is perhaps no wonder that companies are turning to the herb in a bid to create new health supplements for the growing market.
One example of these products is USN CLA Thermo, a weight loss supplement that works by using thermogenesis to boost the rate in which the body metabolises food and reduces stores of fat. In this product, rhodiola is used in conjunction with other natural ingredients such as yerba mate and green tea, which are thought to complement each other and improve results. While USN CLA Thermo has the potential to produce impressive weight loss results in its users, it seems unlikely that these results are due to the inclusion of rhodiola but rather due to the inclusion of potent laxatives that are quick working.
To conclude, rhodiola is a natural substance that is thought to have the ability to improve general health thanks to the large amount of potent antioxidants that it contains. These antioxidants are able to boost the immune system and help the body to regulate blood pressure and vascular health. Furthermore, the substance has the potential to increase the oxygen carrying capability of the red blood cells in the body and therefore increases vitality and stamina during stressful times and situations.
Although rhodiola is thought to be able to promote weight loss, there have not been many clinical studies focused on this point and therefore it is difficult to establish how true this claim actually is. Despite this, there is some evidence to suggest that the herb is able to boost energy levels in the body by raising levels of glycogen and because of this users should in effect be able to exercise for longer periods of time and therefore burn a larger amount of fat. While it seems likely that rhodiola may be able to trigger weight loss by improving overall energy expenditure, in order to know for certain how well the substance is able to work to aid weight loss, further testing is needed.
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